Experience the Improved, More Efficient Gradebook
Some of the best new tools aren't actually "new" at all. They're existing tools redesigned with simple adjustments that have significant effects. The light bulb, for example, was not invented by Thomas Edison, but instead needed some of his expertise to make it last longer and be more efficient. Arthur Fry simply added a little adhesive to the back of tiny pieces of paper, starting the sticky note revolution (and creating one of my favorite office decorations!).
In a similar way, our latest feature is actually the result of numerous subtle improvements to one of our existing and most used features: the Schoology Gradebook. Each added component is a strategic decision made to give you more of what you want in a gradebook and ensure your experience is better without changing too much, especially during the middle of the school year.
New or Old, You Have a Choice
We decided to make the transition to our improved Gradebook a little more subtle than most of our new feature launches. You have access to both the old and the improved version for a short period of time. Using the toggle in the top left corner, you can switch back and forth between the different versions without any consequences to your students' grades or other data. The Improved Gradebook is now your default and is designated by the tag Beta.
Keep in mind that when you switch to the old Gradebook in one course, Schoology will remember your preference so you can use the same version in each course.
You may also notice that Badges is now its own left menu item. Another slight tweak in the improved Gradebook is the Options menu, including Bulk Edit, Import, and other functionality, is now represented by the Gear Icon.
Please understand that we are in the process of sunsetting support for the old Gradebook, so getting familiar with this newer interface sooner rather than later isn't a bad idea. Though as I mentioned before, the feel will be entirely familiar, so you ought to be able to jump right into it.
Customize Your Gradebook View
Our improved Gradebook is equipped with sorting features that enable you to change its layout. You can still filter by grading period, but we have added the ability to filter by categories as well—such as Homework, Test, and Extra Credit. We've also added a option to let you sort the grade columns by due date (our current default order) or date created (newest or oldest first). The menu to sort by Grading Group has moved to just above the students' names.
Create Graded Course Materials
When you're perusing through your students' grades and it dawns on you that you need another assignment added to the mix, don't bother clicking the Materials tab in your left menu. Instead, just add it to the Gradebook using the materials menu at the top! Use it to create assignments, tests, quizzes, and discussions quickly and efficiently.
Using the Grading Column option allows you to add grades on the fly without going through the steps of creating new course materials. This options makes it easier to record paper assignments and assessments, add extra credit, and streamline your overall Gradebook workflow.
Keep in mind that grading columns are not course materials and will ONLY appear in your Gradebook and on your students' report cards.
Infinite Scroll and Floating Scroll Bars
We have now incorporated infinite scrolling into our improved Gradebook. This means that you can continue to scroll without reaching the end of the page—at least up to 250 students. The scroll bars also float with your view, so they are always readily accessible.
Our improved Gradebook doesn't have a save button. Why? Because everything autosaves! Change a grade, add a comment, create an assignment, or sort by the most recent due date. No matter what you do, Schoology will make sure it stays that way—at least until you decide to change it again. You can tell that Schoology is saving by looking at the prompt that appears in the top right corner of your page. It will also tell you the last time it saved.
Now that I've laid it all out for you, it's your turn to try it out and see what you think. We are always interested in your feedback, so don't hesitate to comment below or reach out to us on Twitter (@Schoology). And if you have any questions, please reference the Help Center or reach out to the Support Team.
Photo by *vlad*